by Stewart Jester
Stacks of pale, pink plates litter the parlor,
reminders of an impoverished past.
All rooms empty. All voices hushed,
‘til a small child breaks the rosy glass on the floor,
shattering the tension with a scream.
One hundred fearers of God crowd a church,
paying ritualistic respect,
as a harpist plucks the familiar hymn.
A pale rose rests on freshly churned soil,
praying for roots, six feet deep.
The congregation has left.
An unkempt dog, head low, ambles its way
down the dirt road to its former home.
No one will hear the howling.
Stewart Jester is a writer out of Richmond, Virginia. With family hailing from Southern Georgia — both Macon (where his great-uncle Buck Melton is a former mayor) and the small municipality of Arlington — many of his pieces focus on the time he spent in the rural South as a child.